Idle games (aka incremental games or clicker games) have been a mainstay of the mobile gaming scene for many years. Though the genre originated on PC, with 2002’s Progress Quest widely considered the title to pioneer the genre, there’s something inherently attractive of using a mobile device as a time-waster. Idle games are a genre that perfectly accompany a few minutes of downtime, accessibility of the device and the limited technical specifications. However, the genre became so popular that many have attempted to enter new markets, such as Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox consoles. But which are the best idle games for consoles?
On mobile, idle games are everywhere. It often feels as though you can’t search for anything on the App Store or Google Play without a dozen different idle games appearing in the results. On console however, the market has been much slower moving. There are far fewer idle games, and even less that offering something innovative to the genre. So, if you’re looking for a time waster to play at home, read on for Chit Hot’s picks of the seven best idle games for console.
The 7 Best Idle Games for Console
For the uninitiated, idle games have built some staple principles over the years. The idea is to progress as far as you can before resetting to the very beginning, but returning as stronger than you previously where. Push as far as you can – further than your previous run – to unlock new weapons/abilities/heroes, and then reset again. Keep doing as such until you reach the end. Which, in many of the games below, is frankly nigh-on impossible. Except for DPS Idle, sadly.
The title that broke the genre into the console audience, Clicker Heroes plays exactly as you would expect. You face an enemy, defeat it 10 times and progress to the next. As you do so, you’ll earn currency with which to purchase new characters or abilities. These turn up the damage output rate, allowing you to push further through the enemies and earn more currency. It’s a simple and obvious loop.
However, it’s once you progress beyond level 100 things get interesting. Every boss levels from 100 onwards will drop Hero Souls, which can be converted into permanent upgrades. This means subsequent runs will become increasingly easier, allowing you to push further.
Clicker Heroes is a good representation of the staples of the genre, and particularly addictive because of it. Don’t expect to finish it all too quickly, as getting all those Xbox Achievements will require hundreds of runs and resets.
Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms: Dungeons & Dragons
Speaking of requiring hundreds of runs, the obsessively long titled Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms: Dungeons & Dragons is built entirely around the idea of repeated plays. The game has a level structure that feels very different to most titles in this best idle games article, however it’s mostly thematic window dressing. What is new however, is the sheer quantity of activations the player has at their disposal.
The core gameplay is familiar: kill baddies, unlock a selection of heroes, power them up, kill more baddies. However, the volume of heroes is astounding. While at first it seems like only a handful are available, a few runs in many new options will enter the fray. And those runs are plentiful themselves, with more being added regularly through monthly events.
Having been in ‘active development’ since it’s launch in 2017, Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms: Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most varied and comprehensive idle games available on consoles.
Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms: Dungeons & Dragons may have a stock full of options, but sometimes you want quality over quantity. DPS Idle is undoubtedly the shortest game on this feature of the best idle games – you could unlock everything over two days – but it is also one of the most interesting.
DPS Idle follows many of the typical rules of idle games, but there’s a few in which it decidedly bucks the trend. Instead of choosing your heroes, you purchase random cards to fill out your collection. Once full, you can reset the pool, choosing one to keep slightly more powerful than on the initial turn. Of course, the ultimate goal is to max out every name in your deck. However, before you do so a second deck will become available. And a third.
Layer onto that a series of permanent heroes and stat boosts that remain after reset, and you’ve got an interesting mix of new and old in DPS Idle.
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
Totally Accurate Combat Simulator (TABS) is more of a semi-idle game. It’s a ragdoll physics simulation of battle. There are two main modes to the game: Campaign and Sandbox. Sandbox sees players building armies to defeat enemy forces. The Sandbox mode is more of the same, though with no monetary limit. And almost like playing toy soldiers alone, players can build both armies before sending them into battle against one another.
Initially, it was a simple case of defeating all the enemy units. However, the May 2020 update introduced new winning conditions. These include being able to survive for a certain amount of time, or killing a specific enemy unit. TABS is different to most idle games as it’s not a simple case of attrition. It often requires more strategy than a simple mathematics equation of currency-to-DPS gain.
While TABS pushed the formula to an almost unrecognisable degree, Vostok Inc. downright plugs it into a totally different style of game. You play as the CEO of Vostok Inc., with the ultimate goals of becoming rich.
The gameplay loop has a much more arcade feel than any other title in this best idle games feature, but at its core retains many of the same fundamentals. You earn money through a twin-stick shooter, blasting enemies, asteroids and anything else that gets in your way. However, that currency is then invested in mining, terraforming and colonising planets.
You can then in-turn use the capital earned from these activites to upgrade your ship, equipping new weapons for more blasting and thus, more cash. It’s a new spin on an established formula, and one that’s well worth checking out.
Realm Grinder is, as the name suggests, quite the grind. It’s a game that revels in it’s countless menu options and statistics, and in turn it’s micro-rewards. Everything you do leads to something new happening and a moment of instant gratification. If you need a pick-me-up that demands very little of you, Realm Grinder is your bag.
In the game you can build a kingdom in many different fashions. Make alliances to gain more influence and money, reinvesting to see new opportunities revealed. Unique upgrades and spells can change the output and future options for your kingdom dramatically.
Realm Grinder does an impeccable job of keeping your attention throughout its potential hundreds of hours of gameplay. If you’re looking for a new timesink, you have been warned.
Aquarium Land is perhaps the oddest addition in this article. It’s presented as a management sim, but that’s just a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Underneath the bonnet is a thoroughbred idle game.
Players must go and fish in the sea, catch species like goldfish, starfish, koi fish and add them to your fish tank to expand your aquarium shop. As you do, you’ll earn money to enable you to drive a motorboat, or ride a jet ski, visiting new locations and catching new types of fish. Which, if you hadn’t guessed it yet, will earn you greater amounts of money so that you can explore further.
Aquarium Land is a simple yet engaging take on the formula, and is certainly more youngster friendly than some of the heavy number crunchers in this feature.
So there you have it! Chit Hot’s picks for the seven best idle games available on consoles. Have you lost far to many hours to any of the games included here? Did we miss out your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!